Today’s Sweet 6 > FRIDAY / JULY 01, 2016
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
(click on links for more complete event info.)
Weather forecast looks super for today and this weekend.
Let’s keep all events in the evening.
Have time for only one event today? Do this:
American Ballet Theater (through July 2)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center/ $20-$225
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
“Alexei Ratmansky’s production is a fascinating, important staging—often revelatory. It’s the finest reconstruction I’ve ever seen of a dance work,” said the New York Times at the production’s 2015 ABT premiere. Featuring 400 lavish costumes, more than 200 wigs, and magnificent storybook sets, the beloved story of the beautiful Princess Aurora, the evil sorceress Carabosse, and the awakening kiss of a handsome prince is certain to cast a spell on your heart and imagination.”
Friday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 2PM and 8PM.
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Canada Day at Joe’s Pub:
New York Rocks the Great Canadian Songbook!
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street/ 7PM +9:30PM, $25
“Songs by such artists as Leonard Cohen, Barenaked Ladies, Neil Young and Men Without Hats—here’s hoping for a little Luba or Gowan!—are likely to be in the air as various artists pay tribute to our friendly neighbors to the north. Janis Siegel, Shannon Conley, Marissa Mulder, P.J. Griffith, Melissa van der Schyff, Alyson Palmer, Shelley McPherson, Tony Salvatore, Jamie Leonhart, Libya Piugh, Amy Cervini, Ophira Eisenberg and the Breithaupt Brothers are on the lineup.” (TONY)
Rudy Royston ‘303’ (through July 3)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Royston has emerged as a first-tier drummer in recent years, backing the trumpeter Dave Douglas and the guitarist Bill Frisell. Drawing here from his recent debut album, “303,” he leads a smartly distinctive band featuring the trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, the saxophonist Jon Irabagon, the guitarist Nir Felder, the pianist Sam Harris and two bassists, Yasushi Nakamura and Mimi Jones.” (Chinen-NYT)
Ravi Coltrane With Friends (through July 2)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“Coltrane may never fully escape the shadow of his iconic father—he’s currently instrumental in the restoration of the Coltrane home in Dix Hills, Long Island—but his skill as a canny tenor- and soprano-saxophone stylist has carried him far beyond the glory of his name. Augmenting his quartet (on the final three nights) will be the trumpeter Ralph Alessi, the trombonist Robin Eubanks, and Brandee Younger, who, in the manner of Ravi’s mother, Alice, weaves inspired improvisations from the harp.” (NewYorker)
Joshua Redman Quartet (through Sunday)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM; $20,$35
“Have twenty-five years really passed since Redman took first place at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition? Now a forty-seven-year-old jazz mainstay, Redman remains connected to fresh musical currents. Putting his recent James Farm collective and trio projects on hold, he reanimates a quartet that includes his longtime associates Aaron Goldberg on piano and Gregory Hutchinson on drums.” (NewYorker)
Elsewhere, but if you love this master of the Hammond Organ, this is worth the detour:
Dr. Lonnie Smith’s ‘Evolution’ (through Sunday)
Jazz Standard, 116 E27th St./ 7:30PM +9:30PM, $
“Dr. Lonnie Smith, the Hammond B-3 organist, has spent the last 50 years moving around within the realm of funky soul-jazz. “Evolution,” his appealing new album, positions him as a wise elder among fierce younger talent like the saxophonist John Ellis and the trumpeter Maurice Brown, who rejoin him here in a group driven by two powerful drummers, Joe Dyson and Johnathan Blake.” (Chinen-NYT)
Bonus – Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village (all six are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of 8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016. Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village
Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)
Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”
Each night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.
There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.
There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines, but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.
I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.
At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.
When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
3 Good Eating places
It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:
Fish – 280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.
Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.
Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand eating establishments you might welcome some advice.
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Fall 2016).
◊ Order before Sept. 30, 2016 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS:
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.